NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Anton Zaslavski, the DJ and producer known as Zedd, is sitting in a temporary recording studio at the back of his bus on a recent tour stop, but he hasn’t had time to turn the computer on or slip on the headphones.
One of the hottest young DJs and producers in music, the baby-faced 24-year-old’s to-do list is so long there are things on it he may never get to. He’s got two songs on the charts, the deluxe edition of his debut album Clarity is out this week, he’s finishing music for Lady Gaga’s forthcoming album ARTPOP and there are new projects pitched to him every week that he fields from his bus-studio.
It’s the best studio on a bus I’ve seen so far, Zaslavski said. I can’t afford not to be working on music for that long. ... I just don’t want to not be able to finish something.
Classically trained as a child and rock n’ roll obsessed as a teen, the German-born Zedd turned to electronic music only recently. But already it’s gotten to the point where he will soon have to say no. Is there any such thing as too busy in the grab-it-now pop music world?
Generally, if you would have asked me that question five years ago, I would have wished to ever be in that spot, Zaslavski said. But then when you’re in that spot and you have to say no to things you would actually love to do, that’s a bummer, and a lot of opportunities I’m getting right now are amazing.
With artists like Justin Bieber and Skrillex on his resume, Zaslavski has caught the attention of the pop music world. His single Clarity, featuring Foxes, recently reached No. 2 on the Billboard pop songs and dance/electronic songs charts and is moving in on 2 million in digital sales. And he’s released a new single Stay the Night, featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore.
With that project out of the way, he’s focused on music for Lady Gaga, whom he met through his remix work and joined as the opening act for her tour of Asia.
I was inspired even before we played the first show when we did the rehearsals and I saw how many things you can do, Zaslavski said. It’s pretty impressive and that got me motivated to push the limits and make the best electronic show there is on the market, which is what I’m working on.
Well, one of several things he’s working on. There’s also this film that he hasn’t quite said no to yet. And all the requests for remixes? They’re just so hard to turn down.